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ID TheftSmart™


What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft is a crime. The crime occurs when someone invades your life, taking pieces of your personal identifying information and assumes it as his/her own, thereby causing damage to your credit, as well as your name. This rather broad topic takes in any number of privacy crimes, including theft of a Social Security number, credit card number, debit card, phone card or other illegal assumption of or obtaining false credit in your name.

Typically, Identity Thieves are looking for a quick fix - the opportunity to buy merchandise or obtain cash without being identified. This generally entails using your identity and/or existing credit to purchase a good that they can sell for cash or to obtain services such as car rental, etc.

Early Detection of Potentially Fraudulent Activity

Farmers State Bank wants to do our part in helping protect our customers from this growing problem. Therefore, we are offering ID TheftSmart, a Credit Monitoring and Identity Theft Protection service.

ID TheftSmart notifies participating consumers of activity in their credit file. An alert is provided when any one of the following activities is reported:

  1. New account openings
  2. Credit inquires
  3. Payment delinquencies
  4. Public record changes
  5. Change of address

The ID TheftSmart service allows consumers to identify inaccuracies in credit data being reported by creditors. It also offers consumers early detection of potentially fraudulent activity in their credit file. In addition, consumers have access to trained credit specialists to answer any data questions over the phone on their monitoring report. The credit specialists act on the behalf of the consumer and can submit disputes to credit reporting agencies. ID TheftSmart can save valuable time and the frustration that can follow.

Ideally, you should order a credit report as a base line and then subscribe to credit monitoring to stay up-to-date on activity in your file.

Credit Specialists are available 9-5pm, central time Monday–Friday, excluding holidays.

Requests for credit monitoring and delivery of monitoring alerts are available online (via the internet), and offline (via postal delivery). For online delivery, alerts are provided on a daily basis from the reporting agency. Notification of no activity is delivered on a monthly basis. For offline delivery, alerts are provided on a monthly basis. For offline delivery, quarterly “no-hits” letters are provided for consumers that have no activity to report.

Feel free to come in and visit with any of our staff in Parkston, Mitchell, Kaylor or Fulton for more information or to get signed up. Don’t let yourself become another statistic…come see us and find out how you can protect your identity with our Credit Monitoring and Identity Theft Protection service, ID TheftSmart!

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Identity Theft, Frauds, and Scams Basics


Identity theft involves a crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person's personal data to open fraudulent credit card accounts, charge existing credit card accounts, withdraw funds from deposit accounts, or obtain new loans. A victim's losses may include not only out-of-pocket financial losses but also substantial costs to restore credit history and to correct erroneous information in their credit reports.

Frauds and scams defraud millions of people every year, often starting with an e-mail, text message, or phone message that appears to be from a legitimate, trusted organization.  The message typically asks consumers to verify or update personal information.  Similarly, criminals create bogus websites for such things as credit repair services in the hopes that consumers will enter personal information.

Reporting fraud promptly improves your chances of recovering what you have lost and helps law enforcement authorities stop scams before others are victimized. If you are the victim of a scam and you suspect a law has been violated, contact your state, local, or federal consumer protection agency. The agency you contact first may take action directly or refer you to another agency better positioned to protect you.  Also, a local law enforcement officer may be able to provide advice and assistance.

Violations of federal laws should be reported to the federal agency responsible for enforcement. Complaints are used to document patterns of abuse, allowing the agency to take action against a company.

People who have no intention of delivering what is sold, who misrepresent items, send counterfeit goods or otherwise try to trick you out of your money are committing fraud. If you suspect fraud, there are some additional steps to take.

  • Contact the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
  • Scams that used the mail or interstate delivery service should also be reported to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. It is illegal to use the mail to misrepresent or steal money.

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How to Avoid Identity Theft


The best protection against identity theft is to carefully protect your personal information, for example:

  • Do not share personal information over the phone, through the mail, or over the internet unless you initiated the contact or know the person you are dealing with;
  • Store personal information in a safe place;
  • Shred old receipts, account statements, and unused credit card offers;
  • Choose PINs and passwords that would be difficult to guess and avoid using easily identifiable information such as your mother’s maiden name, birth dates, the last four digits of your social security number, or phone numbers;
  • Pay attention to billing cycles and account statements and contact your bank if you don’t receive a monthly bill or statement since identity thieves often divert account documentation;
  • Review account statements thoroughly to ensure all transactions are authorized;
  • Guard your mail from theft, promptly remove incoming mail, and do not leave bill payment envelopes in your mailbox with the flag up for pick up by mail carrier;
  • Obtain your free credit report annually and review your credit history to ensure it is accurate;
  • Use an updated security program to protect your computer; and
  • Be careful about where and how you conduct financial transactions, for example don’t use an unsecured Wi-Fi network because someone might be able to access the information you are transmitting or viewing.

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How to Avoid Frauds & Scams


There are numerous scams presented daily to consumers so you must always exercise caution when it comes to your personal and financial information. The following tips may help prevent you from becoming a fraud victim.

  • Be aware of incoming e-mail or text messages that ask you to click on a link because the link may install malware that allows thieves to spy on your computer and gain access to your information;
  • Be suspicious of any e-mail or phone requests to update or verify your personal information because a legitimate organization would not solicit updates in an unsecured manner for information it already has;
  • Confirm a message is legitimate by contacting the sender (it is best to look up the sender’s contact information yourself instead of using contact information in the message);
  • Assume any offer that seems too good to be true, is probably a fraud;
  • Be on guard against fraudulent checks, cashier’s checks, money orders, or electronic fund transfers sent to you with requests for you to wire back part of the money;
  • Be wary of unsolicited offers that require you to act fast;
  • Be careful when using social networking sites;
  • Research any “apps” before downloading and don’t assume an “app” is legitimate just because it resembles the name of your bank or other company you are familiar with;
  • Be leery of any offers that pressure you to send funds quickly by wire transfer or involve another party who insists on secrecy; and
  • Beware of Disaster-Related Financial Scams.  Con artists take advantage of people after catastrophic events by claiming to be from legitimate charitable organizations when, in fact, they are attempting to steal money or valuable personal information.

Learn More

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Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (StopFraud.gov)
Identity Theft (FTC)


Notice of ATM/Night Deposit Facility User Precautions

As with all financial transactions, please exercise discretion when using an automated teller machine (ATM) or night deposit facility. For your own safety, be careful. The following suggestions may be helpful.

  • Prepare for your transactions at home (for instance, by filling out a deposit slip) to minimize your time at the ATM or night deposit facility.
  • Mark each transaction in your account record, but not while at the ATM or night deposit facility. Always save your ATM receipts. Don't leave them at the ATM or night deposit facility because they may contain important account information.
  • Compare your records with the account statements you receive.
  • Don't lend your ATM card to anyone.
  • Remember, do not leave your card at the ATM. Do not leave any documents at a night deposit facility.
  • Protect the secrecy of your Personal Identification Number (PIN). Protect your ATM card as though it were cash. Don't tell anyone your PIN. Don't give anyone information regarding your ATM card or PIN over the telephone. Never enter your PIN in any ATM that does not look genuine, has been modified, has a suspicious device attached, or is operating in a suspicious manner. Don't write your PIN where it can be discovered. For example, don't keep a note of your PIN in your wallet or purse.
  • Prevent others from seeing you enter your PIN by using your body to shield their view.
  • If you lose your ATM card or if it is stolen, promptly notify us. You should consult the other disclosures you have received about electronic fund transfers for additional information about what to do if your card is lost or stolen.
  • When you make a transaction, be aware of your surroundings. Look out for suspicious activity near the ATM or night deposit facility, particularly if it is after sunset. At night, be sure that the facility (including the parking area and walkways) is well lighted. Consider having someone accompany you when you use the facility, especially after sunset. If you observe any problem, go to another ATM or night deposit facility.
  • Don't accept assistance from anyone you don't know when using an ATM or night deposit facility.
  • If you notice anything suspicious or if any other problem arises after you have begun an ATM transaction, you may want to cancel the transaction, pocket your card and leave. You might consider using another ATM or coming back later.
  • Don't display your cash; pocket it as soon as the ATM transaction is completed and count the cash later when you are in the safety of your own car, home, or other secure surrounding.
  • At a drive-up facility, make sure all the car doors are locked and all of the windows are rolled up, except the driver's window. Keep the engine running and remain alert to your surroundings.
  • We want the ATM and night deposit facility to be safe and convenient for you. Therefore, please tell us if you know of any problem with a facility. For instance, let us know if a light is not working or there is any damage to a facility. Please report any suspicious activity or crimes to both the operator of the facility and the local law enforcement officials immediately.
Privacy Notice

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